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Joint Health Supplements for Pets


  • Do they help?

    Based on preliminary evidence, glucosamine and chondroitin may help reduce symptoms of degenerative joint disease in dogs and cats. Boswellia may also help, as an anti-inflammatory. MSM may help with muscle soreness. (See What It Does).

  • What did CL's test find?

    Most products were shown to provide their listed amounts of glucosamine, chondroitin, MSM, and Boswellia, but one product was found to contain far less glucosamine and chondroitin than listed on its label, and was Not Approved. Amounts of key ingredients varied greatly among products, with one product providing so little glucosamine and chondroitin that it would likely provide no benefit — this products is also listed as Not Approved. 

  • Which product is best?

    Products that passed CL's tests of quality are noted as "Approved" in the Results Table below, where they are also compared. Approved products that also provided high-quality ingredients at lowest cost — indicating superior value --- were our Top Pick for Dogs and a Top Pick for Cats.

  • How much to give your pet?

    • Glucosamine and chondroitin: (These may be used separately, but most supplements contain a combination. For a 25 lb. pet, a typical daily dose is 500 mg glucosamine hydrochloride and 400 mg chondroitin sulfate.

    • MSM: An optimal dose has not been established.

    • Boswellia: In dogs, 400 mg of Boswellia extract per 10 kg body weight (22 lbs.) has been shown to reduce joint pain and stiffness. Taking Boswellia extract along with fatty foods may enhance absorption. Note that if only Boswellia resin is listed, it is likely less potent than Boswellia extract, and extracts can vary in AKBA (a boswellic acid) concentration from about 2% to 40% -- although the amount of AKBA is rarely listed on labels.

    • Dosage for these each of these ingredients should be adjusted depending on the weight of your pet (see Dosage in the ConsumerTips™).

  • Cautions:

    Most of these ingredients can cause some gastrointestinal upset, such as nausea and diarrhea and, although generally safe, some can interact with drugs, trigger allergies, or cause other side-effects. MSM may have an aspirin-like effect and shouldn't be used by pets already taking blood-thinning drugs, unless medically supervised (see Concerns and Cautions).

  • Other pet supplements for joint pain and inflammation:

    You may also want to read ConsumerLab's review of supplements for pets that contain fish oil and CBD, which have been used for joint pain and inflammation in pets.

  • Make sure you're choosing the best joint health supplements for your dog or cat, approved in our tests!

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    Glucosamine, Chondroitin, MSM, and Boswellia supplements for pets compared in this review

    View Larger Image 7606_large_BestPaw-JointHealth-2021.png

    Best Paw Glucosamine Premium Blend - Natural Bacon Flavor - For Dogs & Cats

    View Larger Image 7554_large_Cosequin-Cats-JointHealth-2021.png

    Cosequin Joint Health Supplement for Cats

    View Larger Image 7555_large_Cosequin-JointHealth-2021.png

    Cosequin Maximum Strength Joint Support - For Dogs

    View Larger Image 7551_large_MilkBone-JointHealth-2021.png

    Milk Bone Good Morning Health Joints

    View Larger Image 7560_large_NaturVet-Arthrisoothe-2021.png

    NaturVet Advanced Care ArthriSoothe - Gold - Level 3

    View Larger Image 7552_large_RxVitamins-Pets-JointHealth-2021.png

    Rx Vitamins for Pets MegaFlex For Dogs & Cats

    You must be a member to get the full test results for joint health supplements containing glucosamine, chondroitin, MSM, and/or Boswellia for animals along with ConsumerLab's recommendations and quality ratings. You'll get test results and quality ratings for two supplements selected by ConsumerLab and three others tested through our voluntary Quality Certification Program.

    In this comprehensive review, you'll learn:
    • Which glucosamine, chondroitin, MSM, and Boswellia supplements for dogs and cats passed or failed's testing and review
    • CL'sTop Picks among joint supplements for dogs and for cats
    • What glucosamine, chondroitin, MSM, and Boswellia can and cannot do for joint pain and arthritis in dogs and cats
    • Price comparisons to help you find the best joint supplement at the lowest cost for your dog or cat
    • How much AKBA (a key compound) is actually in Boswellia supplements for pets, since labels usually don't say -- and why it is important to know
    • The dose of glucosamine, chondroitin, MSM, and Boswellia generally used to treat arthritis in animals
    • Potential side-effects of glucosamine, chondroitin, MSM, and Boswellia in dogs and cats
    Also see our separate report on these types of supplements for people.

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    Additional Information
    Tested through CL's Quality Certification Program prior to, or after initial posting of this Product Review.